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WHAT IS FSS?
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary self-paced program designed to help you overcome barriers to getting and keeping a good job. In addition to helping you get a good job, FSS puts money into an escrow or savings account for you. The money is paid to you at the end of the five-year program. The program lasts five years so you have enough time to get a good job, and we have more time to put money in your savings account. You will find more information on the savings (escrow) account on the other side of this sheet..
WHO CAN JOIN FSS?
- Anyone who is currently receiving Section 8 rental assistance in the City of Long Beach can participate in our FSS Program
- Families on the waiting list are not eligible until they are leased-up
WHAT IF I AM ALREADY EMPLOYED?
- You can join FSS if you are employed or unemployed, It doesn't matter
- If you are not employed, we can help you get employed so that you can get a savings (escrow) account
- If you are employed, you should still join FSS, because the next time you get a pay increase we can start a savings (escrow) account for you
WHAT IF I AM RECEIVING WELFARE BENEFITS?
- That's ok, it doesn’t matter if you are receiving welfare benefits or not, you can still join FSS
- You do have to be free of welfare benefits during the last year of the FSS Program (5th year) Welfare benefits do not include Section 8 rental assistance, so you can keep your housing assistance
WHAT IF I AM RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY OR SSI BENEFITS?
- You can still join FSS; you talk to an FSS representative to see if the program can benefit you
WHAT IF I CAN’T COMPLETE THE PROGRAM OR I DECIDE THAT I DON’T LIKE IT?
- The FSS Program is voluntary, you can quit at any time
- If you quit the program you will not be penalized; you will not loose your Section 8 rental assistance for quitting the FSS Program
- If you do quit prior to completing your contract you will not be entitled to your FSS savings (escrow) account
WHEN DOES MY FSS ESCROW (SAVINGS) ACCOUNT START?
- In general, your escrow account will start when your earned income increases above your earned income on the start date of your FSS Contract of Participation
- The start date of your FSS Contract of Participation depends upon information contained in a certification that has been done within the last 120 days; therefore, if you sign-up for FSS and you have not had an annual or interim recertification within the last 120 days, you will need to have one done in order for your FSS Contract to begin
HOW DOES THE ESCROW (SAVINGS) ACCOUNT WORK?
- When your earned income increases your rent increases; we match a portion of that increase and put it into an interest earning savings account for you
- Each time your earned income increases and a recertification is done, we may increase the amount contributed to your FSS escrow account
- Your account can grow over the five year period that you participate in FSS
- You will receive the funds in your FSS Escrow account upon completion of your FSS Contract of Participation, provided that you have met the terms of the agreement and were free of all forms of welfare assistance during the last year of your Contract period
- You may spend the tax-free funds however you wish
WHAT IF I STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS OR IF I’M NOT SURE ABOUT THE PROGRAM?
- Ask to speak to an FSS representative, we are more than happy to sit down with you and explain the program in greater detail and answer any questions that you may have
- Remember, this program is voluntary, and it will not affect your Section 8 rental assistance in any way
- You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!
- Hurry, space is limited!
WHERE DO I START?
Call one of our FSS Specialists TODAY!
(A-Hay) • Rose Usher • (562) 570-6025 • Rose.Usher@longbeach.gov
(Hen – Pas) • Aundria Washington • (562) 570-6708 • Aundria.Washington@longbeach.gov
(Pat – Z) • Ayisha McDonald • (562) 570-6145 • Ayisha.McDonald@longbeach.gov
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